Finding Quality Time
Children, aged toddler to eight, typically spend eight to ten hours a day in school and/or daycare and on average ten hours a day sleeping. That leaves four hours a day for eating, playing, sports, homework, and family time. It’s here that we are faced with dilemma. Four hours is very little time. Finding quality time to spend with your child is of utmost importance to their development. So, how do we find time to teach our children and build that relationship they need so badly?
A child’s first teacher is the parent and according to Dr. Laura J Martin, WebMD, babies begin to learn in the last trimester of pregnancy. The mother is laying the foundation for the child’s language development. A mother talking to her baby bump, is not only building a bond but also teaching the child. According to MotherHood it is that mothers continuous talking to the child after birth that boosts the child’s vocabulary. As research points out, children whose mothers talk to them, learn on average 300 more words by age two. Now, you may think 300 words is not much, but it’s the difference between talking to a child pointing to a glass of milk and grunting rather than stating, “May I have milk?” With a vocabulary of greater than 300 words a child is able to string words together to form short sentences.
Now, while you are trying to decide how to best utilize those four meager hours a day consider this… talk to your child. Teach your child words to build their vocabulary. Tell them stories from your childhood, about your parents, about life and about anything that comes to your mind. Listen to their reaction; listen to the words they choose to tell their stories. Have conversations with them where you interact with each other. A child’s simple story about how she followed a butterfly through the yard can be just the door to open to teach her about the cocoon from which it came.
Making Time for Life Skills
It is also here, in this very short span of time, that you can teach your child those all-important life skills such as manners, respect, discipline, patience, understanding, compassion, communication, problem-solving, critical thinking, relationships… etc. Life is full of lessons and the earlier you get started learning them, the more successful you will be.
Make each precious moment with your child a learning experience.
Author: Belinda Davis